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Food Funct. 2011 Feb;2(2):111-6. doi: 10.1039/c0fo00155d. Epub 2011 Jan 4.

(-)-Epigallocatechin-3-gallate increases the expression of genes related to fat oxidation in the skeletal muscle of high fat-fed mice.

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  • 1Department of Food Science, The Pennsylvania State University, 332 Food Science Building, University Park, PA 16802, USA.


(-)-Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), the major polyphenol in green tea, has been shown to prevent the development of obesity in rodent models. Here, we examined the effect of EGCG on markers of fat oxidation in high fat-fed C57bl/6J mice. High fat-fed mice treated with 0.32% dietary EGCG for 16 weeks had reduced body weight gain and final body weight (19.2% and 9.4%, respectively) compared to high fat-fed controls. EGCG-treatment decreased fasting blood glucose, plasma insulin, and insulin resistance by 18.5%, 25.3%, and 33.9%, respectively. EGCG treatment also reduced markers of obesity-related fatty liver disease in high fat-fed mice. Gene expression analysis of skeletal muscle showed that EGCG increased mRNA levels of nuclear respiratory factor (nrf)1, medium chain acyl coA decarboxylase (mcad), uncoupling protein (ucp)3, and peroxisome proliferator responsive element (ppar)α by 1.4-1.9-fold compared to high fat-fed controls. These genes are all related to mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation. In addition, EGCG increased fecal excretion of lipids in high fat-fed mice. In summary, it appears that EGCG modulates body weight gain in high fat-fed mice both by increasing the expression of genes related fat oxidation in the skeletal muscle and by modulating fat absorption from the diet.

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